The high-school teams that play in the annual baseball all-star games that wrap up the school year in Arizona are supposed to be pretty evenly matched. But try to tell that to the players that have wound up on the South squads the last couple of years.
Games in the annual Arizona Baseball Coaches Association All-Star event are played in the first week of June at Surprise Stadium, with the North squads opposing the South. The last two years, the South has won just two of seven games played.
Last year, the North won two of the three divisions, with the South having to come from behind to post their only victory, in Division I. This year the format went to four divisions, and again the north won all but one, the newly-added Division IV.
And the run output for the North teams across the divisions almost doubled that of the South, 36-22.
Oh well, maybe the South will rise again. But not until next year.
For this year, the results are already in the books:
In Friday evening’s Division I game, a two-run homer by Andrew Shaps in the fourth inning and a bases-loaded double by Marshall Forest in the fifth gave the North a 5-2 lead that would hold the rest of the way to a 5-4 victory.
Trevor Horn, the right-hander from Horizon High School, picked up the win, while Corey Wilson from Sandra Day O’Connor High was credited with the save for his work in retiring the side in the ninth inning.
Forest, the first baseman from Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, was named the Player of the Game.
The North prevailed again in the Division II game, which opened the four-game, two-day event. A big four-run fourth inning fueled the North offense, but Cody Westcott made the big noise in this one with his home run in the sixth inning that scored three runs for the North and essentially put the game out of reach.
But those were just a couple of the 26 combined hits in the game, with Pete Acosta, a Desert Edge High School outfielder, leading the North with two hits and two RBIs, and Catalina Foothills High School outfielder Luis Gonzales collecting a double and a triple for the South.
Pitcher Nick Meservey from Saguaro High earned the win and Wescott was named Player of the Game.
In the lower divisions, the North scored five runs in the fourth inning and again in the eighth to capture Division III with a 11-2 win, and the South got their only win of the weekend by capturing Division IV in a 9-6 victory in the Saturday afternoon opener.
The Player of the Game honors went to Tyler Janes (Page High School) in Division III and Jacob Frithsen (Pusch Ridge Christian) in Division IV.